Politics & Media
Sep 17, 2008, 01:21PM

Environmentalism: An Anti-Human Religion

Got to say it: Although grounded in scientifically unsound tenets, this is a well-written and well-argued post. Oh, well.

I believe this planet, like everything else, is a process, and that we are a part of that process. The earth has never been, is not now, nor will it ever be in static balance. There are balances, but they are constantly shifting. There is no "correct" state for the earth to be in. That doesn't mean we can't do things that make it less hospitable to us. But the earth doesn't care one way or another any more than it cares if an asteroid plunges in to it and brings mass extinction and an ice age.

Like any religion, Environmentalism has its good points in the ways that it encourages "good" behavior (in this case conservation and preservation). And like any religion, the more zealous the adherent, the more tunnel vision he develops, and the greater the potential for damage to others and humanity as a whole he becomes. And like any religion, it is ultimately based on a myth. While myths can be powerful, useful, and worthwhile - they also, as I mentioned above, have the potential to drive the over-zealous to all kinds of bizarre conclusions and actions -- in many cases undesirable actions. It has even led to (so far relatively minor, thankfully) cases of environmental terrorism.

A rational human familiar with the history of the planet knows that the planet has changed dramatically, often catastrophically, without any input from humans in the past. Gigantic super-volcano eruptions, asteroids and comets, wobbles in the tilt of the planet, orbital variations, and variations in solar output have all caused massive extinctions, changes in global vegetation, ice, temperature, sea levels, etc over the millennia. These are all considered natural. Only human impact is considered unnatural. It is as if everything on and of this planet is natural except for us, as if we are not on and of this planet.

It is, in effect, an anti-human religion.

  • Huh. Imagine my surprise to see this here today. I wrote this years ago. Thanks for the compliment. I am curious, though, as to what are the unsound scientific principles I used... pick up a climatology book. I have a degree in Meteorology and have studied climatology... I'm not quite sure what I missed.

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  • Philmon, I should have been more specific in my description. The vast majority of the scientific community believes that, to one degree or another, climate change is driven by humans. Your argument, while cogent, is not based on that scientific consensus, and thus the phrase "scientifically unsound tenets." I apologize if this was misleading, and thank you for commenting.

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  • Ok. My initial response was to this excerpt posted here -- in which any science referred to would be pretty much backed up by most geologists and climatogists. I don't think there's any controversial science referred to in the "Environmentalism is an anti-human religion" excerpt. (Frankly though I knew I'd written it sometime, I didn't remember that it was a part of that larger post). I don't say anywhere in there that we aren't having any effect on the climate at all. I believe any that we are having is pretty negligible and would be very difficult to prove. I am in plenty of good company. But the argument here is: suppose we are causing some of it? Why is that unnatural? Are we not natural? Why are we, of all the things on and of this universe, aren't natural? Going outside of what is posted here and into the context of the post from whence it came, I'd also put forth that "the vast majority of the scientific community" does NOT believe that climate change is being driven by humans. A majority probably believe we might be a contributing factor to some degree or another. But we aren't driving it. We have been instructed to believe that we are driving it by the IPCC, Al Gore, and a sympathetic press. But science is not about consensus. Science is about reason. One famous scientist said the following: "No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong." -- Albert Einstein Similarly, it doesn't take a critical mass of people who agree with me to prove me right. It takes actually being right to be right. Remember, at one point the consensus was ... the world is flat.

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  • I'd like to ask Philmon why he/she thinks climate change/global warming has become such a huge issue in the past couple of years. Is it because it's a "safe" cause to get stirred up about, as opposed to very current world problems? And what does he/she think about big companies "going green": is that genuine or digging for profit and goodwill, or sincere on the part of the execs? Seems like some of the ads you see could've been mapped out by the "Mad Men" on tv.

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  • Well I've been involved in discussions about it since the late 1980's -- it hasn't just been the last couple of years for me. But it is "safe" to get stirred up about like most environmental issues because you're not likely to face criticism for it. Everybody wants a hospitable environment. As far as companies "going green" -- it's probably a mixture of both and there's nothing wrong with it (as long as they're honest about what they're doing and what the impact is) -- those who believe in greenhouse warming likely have a measure of goodwill and of course they're trying to make a profit. Everybody's trying to make a profit. I do think that some of them are stretching the connection between their actions and "green-ness". I cringe when I see some of them. But I, like everyone else, want a clean environment. An upside of increased energy efficiency can be fewer of the pollutants I actually worry about into the atmosphere and our water sources. But then you have issues like mercury in florescent bulbs... still, they're working on that. And I don't know what the byproducts of LED technology are - nothing's "free". But that technology is very promising for super-efficient lighting applications. I'm a "he", and I apologize for being kind of anonymous. But I am precisely because it's not "safe" for me to express my opinions. Let's just say I work somewhere where holding opinions that are counter to the progressive narrative could draw the kind of scrutiny that might affect my employment, fair or not.

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